Sand replenishment project resumes

Solana Beach project still on hold

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Sand began pouring out of a 30-inch diameter pipe at a rate of 75 cubic feet per minute at South Carlsbad State Beach after an eight-day delay.

The delay was caused after a pipe became clogged during the same procedure at Solana Beach. Following protocols, workers placed a 50-pound metal cap at the end of the pipe hoping the pressure would unclog it. Instead, it sent that 50-pound cap flying 300 yards into the air onto a nearby cliff.  

"We will not be placing any more metal caps at the end of pipes in the event of another clog," said Colleen Windsor, spokeswoman for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), which is overseeing the $28.5 million sand replenishment project from Imperial Beach to Oceanside.

"The pipe is still clogged, what caused it is still unknown, but over the next 8 to 10 days while the project proceeds in Carlsbad, [we] will discuss procedures to unclog it with us before moving forward," Windsor said.

When the cap blew, Clay Zaccaglini was standing on the bluff above the beach at Fletcher Cove Park.  

"It literally sounded like a bomb," he said.  

The pressure blew out a window at the nearby lifeguard station.  

"We don't have an answer yet," Windsor said, but she added, "We do know the dredging barge has been checked out and deemed safe."

If the clog can be undone, the barge would move back to Solana Beach before it moves to north Carlsbad.

The hope is to finish the replenishing project by early December.

 

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